Essay on White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

924 Words Apr 23rd, 2013 4 Pages
In the article, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”, Peggy McIntosh talks about the various privileges white people receive. Her basic idea was to inform the readers that whites are taught to ignore the fact that they enjoy social privileges that people of color do not because we live in a society of white dominance. McIntosh lists some daily white privileges; a variety of daily instances where white dominance is clear. Her examples include privileges relating to education, careers, entertainment, child care, confrontations, physical appearance, and public life.
McIntosh then offers her solution to this unequal distribution of privileges. She provides a distinction between earned power and conferred privilege. The
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It had religious connotations; it had class connotations; it had connotations of where you could live, who you could marry, where you could be buried, and how you were educated.
After World War II, spatial distance was created between people of color and people who were white. The segregation of blacks and whites in terms of neighborhoods, cities and suburbs maintained that distance between the two races. Today, we have the same practice without the explicit language, and those practices are largely inscribed in geography. Where one lives determines what kind of school their children will attend, whether they’re going to be close to transportation, and whether you're going to live next to a toxic dump site or a convenient store.
In McIntosh’s article, she talks about how privileged she is that she could choose public accommodations without fearing that people of her race cannot get in. She thinks whiteness has protected her from hostility, distress and violence. However, a majority of white Americans believe that in this day and age a black person has the same chance at getting a job as an equally qualified white person. There are a few who believe that discrimination is an important explanation for why blacks do worse than whites in income, housing, and jobs. For instance, an employer might say that he would "never hire those druggies" as he talks about black men. Discrimination can be considered when thinking about the connection between

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